Macfarlanes Vacation Scheme Application Form

Discussion in 'Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts 2018-19' started by Daniel Boden, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Hi guys,

    Just thought I'd create this thread so people who are thinking of applying to Macfarlanes can bounce their ideas off each other.

    I myself did an Insight Scheme at the firm last year and, as a result, was able to go through the application form in a fair amount of detail with the Graduate Recruitment team (GradRec) which was very helpful.

    The form is the following questions:

    1. Please provide details of any noteworthy achievements e.g. awards, prizes, positions of responsibility, particular exam marks and your position in your cohort. (500 words) - Refer to academic achievements here, using the STAR structure.


    2. Use this section to provide details of your non-academic interests. (500 words) - Refer to Extra Curricular activities here using the STAR structure.


    3. Please explain why you are applying to Macfarlanes and what your career ambitions are. (500 words) - the first part of the question seems fairly straightforward i.e. why Macfarlanes but how are you expected to know what your career ambitions are when applying for a vacation scheme? Not sure what to include on that end - would it be as simple as saying 'I want to be a partner in the Corporate/M&A team.'?


    4. Please outline the qualities which you think you possess to be a successful lawyer at Macfarlanes. (500 words) - here one of the qualities that GradRec highlighted was teamwork due to the small deal teams that Macfarlanes have. However, other qualities that are listed in their brochure include resilience, determination and communication skills so using the STAR structure would be perfect here.

    Then there is a cover letter (with no word limit) which, according to the form, is where you should 'include any information to support your application that is not included in any other part of the form' - Since the other questions are so detailed, GradRec said that it would be completely fine to just include 'Why law?' and introduce yourself here; it doesn't have to be long.

    Thanks guys, I hope this is helpful for you and obviously if you agree and/or disagree with the above please let me know! Would love to hear your thoughts :)
     
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  2. Sofia

    Sofia Star Member

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    Sorry I don't have much to add other than the Macfarlanes app is SO Long. I'm genuinely unsure whether to apply or not because the questions are long/difficult!
     
  3. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Yeah, it is very long but I guess that's because they don't have any online tests or video interviews. I think I'd prefer a much more detailed application form and then an assessment centre, to be honest as I struggle with the online tests and video interviews!
     
  4. jess889

    jess889 Distinguished Member
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    That was helpful thank you!

    I was going to ask about the non academic interests but I see what you mean it's just another way of referring to extra curricular activities.

    That second part of question 3 I'm also unsure on so if anyone has any thoughts I'd be keen to hear that too!
     
  5. Nicole

    Nicole Legendary Member
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    Great post Daniel!

    I've had a question like the second part of 3 before. You can say you want to be a partner (although I think a lot of people will say that).

    I find it helps to think outside the box a little here. What matters to you in your career? Do you want to be intellectually challenged and become proficient in a particular disciple (no need to state which yet)? Do you want international experience?
     
  6. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Thanks a lot Nicole! I agree probably stating that you want to be a partner is a common answer but I think it is hard to know what else the career goal is at this stage without actually beginning the career! As you have said, would a perhaps better response be to say something like, 'I would like to become one of the globally renowned lawyers in M&A and create my own niche in that market so as to be one of the best at what I do'?
     
  7. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Happy to help Jess - glad you found it useful :)
     
  8. Tstrack

    Tstrack Standard Member

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    Thank you for the post!

    I'm wondering how to approach the academics question - they already know our grades and such, so what should we include specifically?
     
  9. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    Are you referring to Q1? It's a difficult question! I would focus on your positions of responsibility but if you do have any awards/prizes/particularly high module marks then you can go into them in more detail here.
     
  10. Lawyer055

    Lawyer055 New Member

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    Do you think they won't look down on your answers if you fail to meet the 500-word limit? It seems like a lot to me, and I'm hoping it's more of a max. word count than a guideline, if you know what I mean.
     
  11. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    It depends on how many words. If you're close (450+) that's fine. If you're at 400 words I'd ask if that's everything you needed to say.

    I doubt they'd look down on your answer unless it was a fair bit below the word count.
     
  12. Naomi

    Naomi Esteemed Member
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    Just a question on using the STAR structure, would you use it for every single point, so for example discuss a particular instance in which you made a difference as social secretary of a uni society?
     
  13. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    If you are talking about question 1 then yes I would :)
     
  14. Naomi

    Naomi Esteemed Member
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    And 2. But ok. Just seemed a little overkill to talk about each point in such a long way but if that’s what they’re after then sure. How many individual achievements/extracurriculars would you mention using this structure then? A brief paragraph on each?

    Sorry for all the questions!
     
  15. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Haha no worries happy to help. Figured it is easier to just say what my approach to the application was, so here it is:

    For 'your achievements' I didn't mention any skills per se but talked about examples using the star format - the skills can be inferred from those examples e.g. public speaking and communication.

    For 'interests' I talked about my love of sport and gave a couple of star examples but then just described other hobbies I have e.g. reading.

    For the 'why Macfarlanes' I wrote how I am interested in the firm's private equity practice, how I enjoyed attending the first year insight day with the firm but clearly mentioned in my final paragraph what my career ambitions were.

    For qualities, I looked at the key qualities they explicitly mentioned in their graduate recruitment brochure and then gave star examples for them. Specifically, I gave one example which demonstrated determination, resilience and team work skills and then the other was having good communication skills as these were explicitly mentioned in the brochure.

    My Cover letter was why law and I mentioned other skills I have (that I hadn't included already) with a couple of star examples in a letter format too.

    I hope this helps!

    Dan
     
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  16. anaisindia

    anaisindia Active Member

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    Has anyone heard back from Macfarlanes for AC?
     
  17. MadisonK

    MadisonK Distinguished Member

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    I applied about two weeks ago and haven't heard from them since - do you know how long they usually take to respond?
     
  18. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
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    Normally is about 2 weeks but they're probably busy this time of year
     
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  19. MadisonK

    MadisonK Distinguished Member

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    My fault for leaving it so late! Maybe I will hear back this month
     
  20. anaisindia

    anaisindia Active Member

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    I applied ages ago (over a month) so unsure if they're busy or if it'll be an imminent rejection lol
     

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